Career advice

Must-have professional soft skills in 2022

Key Takeaways

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Soft skills are in high demand in 2022 

Developing specific soft skills in high demand is more crucial than ever in the new remote-work market.

You can shape your way to a successful career by taking the time to deepen your skill set or prequalify for the future of work.

Remote and hybrid work dictates a shift from hard science and technical skills to more flexible, business and social-media-oriented qualifications.

Both job-seekers and employers need to reevaluate how well-adjusted their abilities are to the present way of working.

The criteria are high productivity and performance. 

Quality over quantity. 

Self-management with high motivation to lead while positively contributing to a happy work environment requires some serious skill honing. 

What are professional skills?

Certain important skills are acquired during the course of education through the process of obtaining a professional degree.

Alternatively and equally valuable are the skills you develop during employment.

These are professional skills because they are beneficial to completing tasks and projects that are important to the success of any job.

There are two types of skill sets: soft and hard skills.

This article will analyze the personal soft skills you need to start working on to gain the best chances of utilizing the hard ones you have. 

Typical soft skills

Soft skills are directly linked to your innate aptitudes and personality traits that help employees interact with others and succeed in the workplace.

They are usually self-taught, self developed and are useful across all industries.


Develop effective communication with your teammates by sharing information and initiating friendly conversations to develop positive relationships. 

Always try to be observant and correctly “read the room” by actively listening when being spoken to, asking questions, being truthful and direct in your responses, and being supportive and empowering your colleagues.

Being a good communicator will be beneficial to every aspect of your daily life but will be especially valued at the workplace.

This is crucial if you’re working from home and can’t share the same space with your team at all times. 

You can learn and improve communication skills with experience and practice. Identify your strengths and weaknesses.

Then practice and develop areas where you are not good. If you aren’t sure about how you’re being perceived or understood, ask for feedback.

As you improve your conversational prowess, you will soon notice that the team becomes more cohesive, happier and the job gets done faster and better.

This is the most crucial skill that directly or indirectly affects all other professional skills sought after by employers.

The bonus is that you also develop your charm and become perceived as charismatic. 

Critical thinking / Problem solving

Problem-solving skills help you determine the source of the problem and find practical solutions for any given situation in your work environment. 

Companies rely on people who can assess both types of situations and quietly identify solutions. 

Problem-solving skills are valued by employers in any job and are extremely useful in other areas of life such as relationship building and day-to-day decision-making.

To be a good listener, you need to analyze what’s been said, be aware of the body language and nuances that you can pick up while doing so and convert into throughout language in response.

This allows you to make an informed decision, shows critical thinking in the process, and leads to properly handling any workplace situation. 

In order to become better at critical thinking and problem solving, we must do research on the subject at hand, and always be able to “catch” similar examples with others to be able to learn from them.

Time management

Time management encompasses the process of organizing, planning, and dividing your time between specific activities. 

If you develop good time management skills, it won’t take long time that you realize you’re working smarter and faster. Not harder. This will aid when dealing with time pressing projects.

Failing to manage your time while performing a task will damage your effectiveness and cause stress.

Proper time management allows you to always stay on track with the work, have the complete picture at all times, which leads to better decision-making.

Creativity in looking at a situation or a problem is crucial for making good decisions on the go.

By becoming more experienced with time management, your work will become more structured, thus the project goals are more easily achievable in less time.

Problem-solving skills are important in every career at every level to make your career successful.

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Work ethic

Work ethic is a valuable quality that employers look for in that industry.

Showing the qualities related to a good work ethic can boost your employment and help you position yourself for better job opportunities. 

The employer often gives opportunities only to the employees with excellent work ethics to work on special projects because of their reliability, dedication and disciplinary characteristics.

An employee with a strong work ethic exhibits a particular set of values and behaviors.

These values and behaviors make them stand out as highly coveted team members and praise-worthy employees.

To develop your work ethic you need to be dedicated, reliable with work productivity, handle people and work with integrity and humility.

Such an approach will motivate your superiors and colleagues to feel comfortable coming to you with problems, open up communication and cooperation in the team, boost the overall professionalism and help you develop some leadership skills that you might not have known were in you.   

Leadership skills

Leadership is a complex concept. It is a combination of various individual traits honed to the level where a person is able to extract the best in people from their surroundings.

You need to possess good organizational skills and know the project’s ins and outs to lead your teammates to complete the milestones and reach the goals.

It doesn’t matter if you are in a management position or leading a project, leadership skills require you to motivate others to complete a series of tasks before the deadline.

Leadership doesn’t mean that you should be the loudest in the group or that you have the last word in every conversation.

On the contrary. The leaders are often the most patient, dependable, and positive people in the team. Leadership is a combination of several skills working together.

Being resolute in always having the goal in mind while being empathic, flexible and timely in your communication with others usually invites people to look up to you and follow your example.

Taking calculated risks and taking responsibility for the outcome of your actions is a good sign of a team leader.

Being open to give and receive positive and negative feedback goes a long way in building a good team around you and pushing the work towards success. 

Stress management

We have experienced work-related stress at some point in our careers. There could be stressful elements in any job, even if you love what you do. 

You may experience pressure to meet a deadline or to fulfill a challenging task. But when work stress becomes chronic, it can be overwhelming and harmful, both to your physical and emotional health.

There are many reasons for experiencing pressure or anxiety in different situations at work.

Some of them are unmotivated due to low salary, excessive workload, few opportunities for career advancement, lack of support or feeling of not having control over the situation.

Of course, these aren’t the only scenarios to feel stress at work.

The important thing is how you face it and manage it.

First off, start your day well. Try to maintain a positive mood, drive yourself with positivity, stay organized and don’t multitask.

Be aware of the day’s tasks, have reasonable expectations, stay away from conflict and keep perfectionism in check.

If you manage to handle it, i.e. let the negativity pass beside you, every day can be more productive than the previous, your team will notice it and follow the example. 

Negotiation skills

Negotiation skills are qualities that allow two or more sides to reach a compromise.

Negotiation includes ability to communicate, persuade, plan, strategize and cooperate. Understanding these skills is the first step to becoming a stronger negotiator.

It pays to be an effective negotiator, whether you’re just beginning your professional journey or operating at a senior level.

Negotiation is often identified as one of the top 10 skills needed to thrive in the future workforce.

Honing your deal-making skills can not only help you secure value for your organization at the bargaining table, but for yourself when advocating for a higher starting salary or raise.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to crafting a successful negotiation strategy. The key is to be open to improvisation and plan to think on your feet. 

To do this, you need to have a high-level understanding of the subject matter, have experience in such or similar situations, and know what to expect from the other party.

It is essential to establish a pleasant exchange in small talk at the start of a negotiation.

The process will be more open to mutually beneficial compromise if you spend some time getting to know your counterpart and establish a cooperative environment for everybody involved.

Active listening, measured reaction and asking good questions can provide enough time to extract the best out of the deal and leave a positive impression for potential further negotiation stages and tradeoffs. 

We don’t claim that this is the full and definite list of the most sought-after soft skills you need to develop to succeed in your work. 

Obviously, there are specific jobs that perhaps require developing additional sets of qualities that can address specific issues. 

Work on developing as many skills as we stated in this article. If you do so, you will boost your success and reputation with your employer, in the team and progress in the organization's hierarchy.

In the follow-up article on April 11, 2022, we dissected the hard skills that are currently in high demand to hopefully motivate you to reach your potential as a talent and a professional.

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